I just worked at my third Cursillo weekend as a spiritual director last Thursday through Sunday. (Cursillo is one of those "3-day weekend" experiences in the category of Walk to Emmaus, Camino, and others.) I have come home, if possible, both exhausted and rejuvenated.
Exhaustion as a result of early mornings and late nights, sitting and listening to a series of talks on church life, leading several worship experiences, and being continually available to offer spiritual care and counselling as needed. Plus all the fun and activity of a weekend together with a great group of Christian brothers and sisters has a tendency to take a lot of energy.
But I am also rejuvenated. Rejuvenated as a result of a weekend worth of prayer with some of my dear spiritual sisters and brothers, multiple opportunities to share in the Eucharist, experiencing the grace of God through the gentle touch of friends new and old, and seeing the energy of God's spirit in the smiles of the incarnate body of Christ gathered together to serve as messengers of Christ's grace.
After this weekend, I am once again convinced that the future of the church is vibrant and vital. There are a lot of people who lament declining membership and attendance, and say that we are near death as a denomination, if not as the "mainline" itself (whatever that is). I have even read opinions of people who warn about the danger of developing "too liberal" of a theology, which is allegedly a turn off to people and drives people out of the church. Nonsense! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Jesus never counted heads; he just said, "Make disciples." Jesus never said "Don't be too liberal" or "Don't be too conservative;" he just said, "Love one another." Last weekend, in the midst of the Cursillo community, no one was counting, no one was conducting theological litmus tests to determine acceptance, no one was lamenting the decline of mainline Christianity. We just lived in the midst of Christ's grace-filled presence for a weekend, and offered that grace to the Cursillo community.
And we found out that grace is exhausting and rejuvenating all at the same time!
"Grace finds beauty in everything." - Bono